03/07/08 — Men's conference set for Saturday

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Men's conference set for Saturday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 7, 2008 1:52 PM

Given the opportunity, men will usually step up and try to become better men, says one Goldsboro minister.

It's like "iron sharpening iron," said Rev. Bill Wilson, pastor of The Lord's Table on Parkway Drive.

"A man will never be all he can be, all he is supposed to be, without the camaraderie of other men, because everyone of us has an inherent weakness and an inherent strength," he said.

Wilson has long had the desire to build relationships between area churches, but is now choosing to take it even further.

"Churches by and large will fellowship within their denomination but they won't come together," he said. "What I wanted to do is focus on what we can do for the betterment of our city and as Christian men."

Initial plans to host an Evangel Fellowship International conference at his church shifted in response to the changes the pastor has witnessed in recent years.

"Our city has all kinds of situations, with gangs and teens that are wayward and everything you can think of," he said. "And basically the answer, without trying to infringe on any secular thing, is the Christian agenda.

"I was a drug addict for eight years and it was Christianity that turned my life around, offered me something better than drugs."

That was over three decades ago, and Wilson's mission ever since has been to become responsive to others by offering hope and encouragement.

The idea for this Saturday's conference was prompted by his desire to help not only the community at large but to target men.

Although his church building is the location, Wilson said the intent is very clear. "We wanted to embrace the whole city," he said.

Men from every spectrum -- black and white, young and old, from different cultures, creeds and socio-economic levels-- are invited to join together for the common good, Wilson said.

"This is a gathering of men that supersedes just us coming to church," he said. "I see a calling that represents a camaraderie of men where everybody lays down their denominational robe, their political agendas and all come together for a common cause -- for the good of our city and being better men.

"We're challenging each other to be better men and to become more responsible, better citizens, better husbands."

The climate for the faith-based community is changing, Wilson said.

"I think right now Christianity is looking in as much as it's looking out -- What are the things that I can do to enhance my city? God put it in my spirit, He said, 'I don't want you to try to win your city, I want you to serve your city to Christ.' That's one of the principles that we live by, to serve this city."

In the process of laying the groundwork, Goldsboro Mayor Al King was involved. His appearance at the Saturday morning conference represents a endorsement of the effort, Wilson said.

"Taking the High Road" is the conference theme. It is open to the public and will run from 9 a.m. until noon. A luncheon will follow.

Much will be packed into the event, including several workshops and featured speakers.

The first hour will center around praise and worship. Keynote speakers are Bishop Houston Miles, chairman and founder of Evangel Fellowship International in Spartanburg, S.C., Pastor Frank Dawson of Alpha and Omega Christian Center in Goldsboro, and Pastor Wilson. The Mayor will also bring greetings from the City of Goldsboro.

Attendees will then have a choice of four workshops to attend -- Mitch Ham, worship team leader at The Lord's Table, speaking on "Worship Team Development"; Kenny Moore, founder and president of Andy's Restaurants, on "Starting a New Business"; Daryl Woodard, executive director and founder of Smart Choices for Youth, on mentoring youth; and Travis Carter, general manager at Gold's Gym, on "Understanding your Credit Report."The doors open at 8:30 a.m. There is a $15 registration fee for the conference, which covers a workbook, materials and lunch.

For more information, call the church at 751-8188 or write info@thelordstable.com.